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Full text of "My Country And My People"

EPILOGUE                           335

band or an old man suffering from hardened veins. The nation
frisks and frets, and alternates between megalomania and
melancholia, and easily becomes hysterical. This is especially
observable in the more articulate, I dare not say more intelli-
gent, class, who are wont to get into fits of excitability, quite
natural because they are fits of an overwhelming sense of
helplessness, and then settle down to a permanent depression
of spirits. Some of these scholars are ashamed of our own
country, of our farmers and coolies, and of our own customs
and language and arts and literature, and would like to cover
China up with a huge shroud as if it were a stinking carcass,
and allow foreigners to see only white-collared, English-
speaking Chinese like themselves, whereas the common people
merely suffer and carry on.

Then once in a while the subconscious leaps to the fore,
and the ruling classes know that someone, not themselves of
course, is running the country to perdition, and they turn
moralists, and panaceas for "saving the country-" are offered.
Some advocate salvation by learning the use of machine-guns,
another by frugality and the wearing of sandals, another by
dancing and wholesale introduction of Western life, another
by selling and buying national goods, another by physical
culture through good old boxing, another by learning Esper-
anto, another by saying Buddhist masses, another by reintro-
ducing the Confucian classics in school, and another by
"throwing the classics into the toilet for thirty years.5* To hear
them discussing the salvation of the country would be like
listening to a council of quack doctors at a patient's deathbed.
It would be humorous if it were not so pathetic. Since a
fundamental reform of the political life would mean the
abolition of militarism and militarist interference with politics,
and the weeding out of political corruption would mean the
abolition of the privileges of the ruling class and sending ninety-
five per cent of them to jail, both of which are obnoxious to
themselves, they have turned themselves into moral uplifters
and preached old morality which can injure and give offence
to nobody. One sees everywhere a tumult and chaos, a tumult
and chaos of the spirit more than of the body, a madness with*
out method in its sham progressiveness as wdl as in its sham